The secret language of Humboldt squid

Humboldt squid are formidable predators whose group foraging behaviors often resemble a feeding frenzy. Despite this free-for-all appearance while feeding, Humboldt squid generally avoid direct contact or physical competition for prey. MBARI researchers suggest that, as they hunt, these squid communicate with each other using changing patterns of light and dark pigments on their skin. The squid exhibit changing color patterns most often when they are interacting with one another in groups. These changes in pigmentation may be an effective means of communication, analogous to humans using turn signals in traffic. Though the meanings of these signals remain unknown, this research suggests that Humboldt squid use changes in body patterns as a consistent and effective means of communication in the deep.

Filming robots in Monterey Bay

MBARI’s marine operations staff and ROV pilots performed an intricate robot ballet below the surface of Monterey Bay.

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